Fear is one of the most powerful tools of manipulation and repression in existence. As any successful tyrant would know, the best way to control people is to make them afraid. There are two kinds of fear: external (mostly punishment: fines, prison…etc.) and internal. External fear is pretty straight forward and isn’t as effective as one would imagine. It’s when that external fear becomes internalized that it turns problematic. Because it’s the internal fear that truly represses and paralyzes a person. The fear that a person is socialized to believe in, the fear that is created through past experiences and the fear that a person forces on him/herself. No amount of external fear can ever be more powerful than that. The key to abuse fear is to make it a norm and to make a part of a person’s life.

But much like any other extreme emotion (love, hate, anger…etc.) fear is usually irrational. Fear of the unknown, of failure, of the future, of love, of rejection, of commitment, of getting hurt, of being alone, of people’s judgment, of taking risk…etc. none of them are sound reasons why a person would oppress themselves. However they all become obstacles that obstruct one’s life from moving forward. Why am I talking about this? Because I know a lot about internal fear, I would much rather not say how. It takes guts to confront your fears, but most people wonder if they should? The answer is: yes. That being said, even if one knows that; a lot of people are cowards and choose not to confront them.

Living in fear is not a life, no matter what people might say. In cultures where people are raised to believe that they need to live within rigid boundaries, fear is quite common. But when does fear become too much? There is a fine line between propriety and suffocation. My heart is racing and my hands continue to shake as I write this, not because of the words that I’m typing, but for reasons that I will not be discussing (and coffee).  Here’s my question to you: Is living in fear worth it?

Feel free to respond, this question is not entirely rhetorical.